Review: Freedom Bound (BHP Comics)

Scottish indie publisher, BHP Comics continue their more socially conscious work with Freedom Bound, a collection of three stories looking at slavery in Scotland.

Publisher: BHP Comics
Writer: Warren Pleece
Artist: Warren Pleece
Price: £19.99 from the BHP Comics Store

Slavery and Scotland is not a topic and location you would instantly put together and so makes for a really thought provoking read. The stories are a mixture of fact and fiction, extrapolating true events into much longer stories. They range from: Ann, the tale a young woman who comes over to live in Scotland from America with her master and goes on the run; Jamie Montgomery, about a young man who comes over to Scotland to work but is embraced as part of the community; and Joseph Knight which sees a young slave take his master to court in order to secure his freedom.

The stories are told very slowly and very deliberately, mixing fact and fiction to create a really absorbing tale. While it may lack any sensational moments and can feel a bit dry at times, it is very smartly crafted to create a book that is designed to educate and prompt thought as much as it is to entertain.

Freedom Bound

The mix of stories and flashbacks give a fascinating context to each story and showcase a really different look at slavery – especially compared to the Deep South cotton fields on the New World which we are usually used to from these kind of books. With factual articles at the back, outlining the historical background of each person, writer/artist Warren Pleece does a great job bringing these stories to life while his artwork has a very classical and unfussy style which will helps Freedom Bound feel timeless and unfaddy.

With it’s monochrome colour scheme and thoughtful tone it reminded us a bit of the wonderful March from IDW – which is high praise indeed in our book – and is one of those titles which we hope gets an audience, especially among school kids as it has the potential to be a really useful teaching resource as well as an insightful read!

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